Dreaper facing Goonyella problem

Trainer Jim Dreaper believes stable stalwart Goonyella could be difficult to place this season.

Goonyella: Difficult to place

Winner of the Midlands National at Uttoxeter back in the spring of 2015, the nine-year-old rounded off last season by finishing a highly creditable fifth in the Grand National at Aintree.

Dreaper would welcome a wet winter as he looks to add to his tally of three victories.

He said: "We are just trying to prepare him for the season, and obviously he needs soft ground. He could have had a run in a novice hurdle at Galway, but he'd have no chance on good ground.

"I'm not sure where he will run, he might even run in a cross-country race at Punchestown. The National again is his long-term aim, but I think he is handicapped to his limit.

"He stayed on slowly to be fifth in it last season and it's going to be a struggle to win it. He needs all the four miles and even further. He is unlikely to improve a whole lot at this stage of his career, but he seems as good as ever.

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"It came soft for him this year, which helped. It is such a changed race over the last 20 years. In the old days, fellas used to take their time and just get around the first circuit and then start worrying about riding a race.

"Nowadays it's a good gallop the whole way. He was jumping carefully and is as near certain to get around as you can have at Aintree barring accidents, as he jumps over the top of them. He wastes a bit of time doing that.

"He is just in a tricky situation."

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